Erik Lamela has not had the best of times since his big-money move from Roma to Tottenham last summer. But anyone in doubt over the Argentine’s ability only need to watch his extraordinary goal in Europa League action on Thursday to see why roughly £30 million was spent on bringing him to England.
With Tottenham leading 1-0 coming up to the half-hour mark of their Europa League group stage match against Greek side Asteras Tripolis, the ball broke out to Lamela 20 yards from goal. Rather than strike the ball with his much weaker right foot, he performed a remarkable act of dexterity to hit it with his left wrapping around from behind his standing leg, in a move widely known as a rabona. While the technique has been perfected by the likes of Angel di Maria, few have ever used it to score as spectacularly as Lamela.
The former River Plate graduate had a troubled first season at Tottenham, making just three Premier League starts as he struggled to adapt and was blighted by injury. But he has been a far from integral part of Spurs’ plans since compatriot Mauricio Pochettino took over as manager in the summer.